Husky Trails: Huskies Sharper in Sark Debut Despite Loss

Ian PetersonCorrespondent ISeptember 7, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 05:  Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies leads his team out of the tunnel prior to the game against the LSU Tigers on September 5, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

There really should be no surprise that LSU won last night's contest and the UW Huskies continued their losing streak. That being said, the 31-23 loss by the Huskies did not leave a bad taste in the mouth at all.

Last night was the debut of new head coach Steve Sarkisian, and the return from injury for quarterback Jake Locker. 

Obviously a loss is not ideal, but there are positives to be pulled from the game.

The team looks completely different than it did last year, there is just such a bigger buzz around the Huskies during gametime.

The best example is that after the first score the entire team huddled up on the sideline and started jumping up and down chanting and cheering.

In terms of field performance, the Huskies outgained the LSU Tigers in passing and rushing. Something that you could hardly have said about the Huskies last season.

Locker looked sharp in the game, throwing for 25 of 45 passing with 321 yards and two touchdowns.

He would have looked better but for some throw away balls and some rather horrendous drops as well. The interception was about the worst he looked the whole night passing, which is to be expected.

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Running back Chris Polk ran with purpose for 90 yards on 21 carries. 

The offensive line looked great, for as many questions as there were going into the season, you really could not ask for much more out of them. 

That being said, the running game diminished during the second half, with most of the second half yards coming from Jake Locker.

It's also key to point out that the staff did not use all the running backs, as they had said they would.

Defensively, they played with so much more fire and intensity than they ever did under Tyrone Willingham's staff. They made several impressive stops, in spite of allowing 321 yards and 31 points.

The secondary got a bit tossed around by the LSU receivers, Terence Toliver especially, but they will get better.

There were some heavy hits too, with one massive hit on Jordan Jefferson by Nate Williams springing to mind. Williams shook himself up on the hit.

The front seven did a great job stuffing the middle running, with most of the biggest running plays coming around the outside.

The biggest complaint about the Huskies, and I'm going back and forth on if it is truly a complaint, is that the Huskies basically beat themselves with turnovers and penalties.

There were some bad personal fouls, several substitution infractions, and others on top of the typical offsides, false starts, and what not.

There is certainly a lot of things needed to be cleaned up. The beauty of the game last night was that every play did not feel like it had the potential to blow up in the Huskies face.

They played well, they didn't feel lucky, the way it felt under the Willingham staff.

There is a lot to build on, and a lot to be proud of, in spite of the loss. 

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